Police grapple with response to cybercrimes
Mae Clydyl L. Avila (The Freeman) - April 13, 2018 - 12:00am

CEBU, Philippines — The Philippine National Police does not have widespread know-how to investigate cybercrimes owing to lack of equipment and manpower, according to a police official.

Superintendent Jay Guillermo, spokesperson of the PNP Anti-Cybercrime Group, admitted that they are handicapped in dealing with cybercrimes and cyberthreats.

“I admit wala po tayong tamang equipment at kunti lang ang tao natin. But we are trying our best to trace the perpetrators,” he said.

Guillermo was one of the guest speakers during yesterday’s Cyber Forensics Recovery Conference held in Cebu City.

Other local and international speakers, who have an extensive background in cyber security, were Robert Arquiza, chief executive officer of Wordtech Information Solutions Incorporated, Ricky Fan, computer forensic consultant, and Jet Zheng, senior digital forensic instructor at Meiya Pico.

The internet serves as the most democratic front of the digital age, thereby allowing the creation of a new battle zone for both good intentions and evil schemes.

According to experts, cyberterrorism is the leading worldwide threat to national security. They said cyberattacks are driven by different motivations, such as for personal or corporate gains, organization funding, and economic superiority.

Arquiza said police need to boost their expertise so they can respond to cybercrimes and cyberthreats.

But he said it would take years before the country can be at par with other countries.

“Our government though is doing its best (to counter cybercrimes),” Arquiza said.

Arquiza said his company has been in partnership with the PNP anti-cybercrime group, Armed Forces of the Philippines, and the National Bureau of Investigation to locate and arrest internet users who are engaged in illegal cyber activities across the country.

He also said Worldtech is helping in raising awareness on cyberpornography and helping law enforcers in tracking down perpetrators.

“In Asia, the Philippines, specifically Cebu, is number one in cyberpornography. That’s why we continue raising awareness on cybercrimes,” he said.

Aside from cyberpornography, attacks happen every day through email bombing, web defacement, and political propaganda. Release of malicious wares into the wild – from viruses, to worms, file infectors and backdoors— can also be carried out in information system-controlled firms.

Others include hacking into someone else’s computer to access a bank account, credit cards or even email and personal data, said Arquiza.

This could jeopardize massive amounts of data and valuable corporate trade secrets, among others as the country has not developed yet immunity to cybercrimes.

But Arquiza said the conference was among the initiatives undertaken to combat cybercrimes.

Hundreds of representatives from local government units, PNP, AFP, and information technology managers from different firms were taught on how to create a safer cyberspace, such as detecting and deactivating drones, decrypting information from a broken hard drive, among others. —/KBQ (FREEMAN)

JAY GUILLERMO
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